Nintendo: What Wii Worry?
Is the Wii juggernaut finally slowing? Perhaps.
In March, Japanese sales of Nintendo’s wildly popular game console fell below those of rival Sony’s PlayStation 3 for the first time. According to data released on Monday by research outfit Enterbrain, Sony sold 146,948 PS3s in the five weeks to March 29, while Nintendo sold 99,335 Wiis–and, for those keeping track, Microsoft (MSFT) sold 43,172 Xbox 360s. Driving sales: Yakuza 3 and Resident Evil 5–two new titles not yet available for Wii.
Could this be the beginning of a new trend, a dramatic reversal of fortune for Sony, which ceded its gaming console dominance to Nintendo back in 2006? Sony (SNE) clearly hopes so, but Nintendo doesn’t seemed too worried. “It is still the first few months of the year when sales are slow for the industry so we are not particularly concerned,” a spokesperson told the Financial Times. “We hope to line up strong software to support hardware sales in the second half of the year.” And if it’s able to do that, Nintendo probably does have little cause for concern–at least for now. The Wii is still outselling the PS3 by 3-to-1 in the states, and at eight million sold, cumulative Wii sales in Japan exceed the three million consoles Sony’s managed to sell.